A Rare Eclipse of a Supermoon

30 Sep 1 Comment Ramon Sky

 

 

Sunday night we were ready for it… The Blood Moon Eclipse.

So, I decided to go on the web and find some facts about why this is so rare.

 

 

The full Moon of September 27/28 was a Supermoon – the Moon was closest to the Earth, or at its perigee, as it turned into a full Moon. A rising Super Full Moon can look larger and brighter to spectators on Earth.

Total eclipses of Super Full Moons are rare. According to NASA, they have only occurred 5 times in the 1900s – in 1910, 1928, 1946, 1964 and 1982. After the September 27/ 28, 2015 Total Lunar Eclipse, a Supermoon eclipse will not happen again for another 18 years, until October 8, 2033.

So this was a must see for us and especially my parents who are here from The Netherlands and rarely are able to see a star-filled sky as we have at Reverie.

The eclipse was also Part of a Lunar Tetrad.

The September 28, 2015 Total Lunar Eclipse was the fourth and final eclipse in a series of four total lunar eclipses called the lunar tetrad. The first three eclipses of the tetrad took place on April 15, 2014, October 8, 2014 and on April 4, 2015.
Notice something interesting about the dates? Each of the eclipses in the tetrad occurs about 6 months apart and have 5 full Moons between them!

Lunar tetrads can be rare in some centuries and can occur frequently in others. The 21st century will have 8 lunar tetrads, the maximum number of lunar tetrads that can occur in a century. The last time this happened was in the 9th century!
The next lunar tetrad of the 21st century will start with the April 25, 2032 Total Lunar Eclipse.

Why is it called a Blood Moon?

In recent years, the term Blood Moon has been frequently used to refer to total lunar eclipses. Some sources suggest that the term stems from the Bible. Christian pastors Mark Blitz and John Hagee claim that the eclipses of the 2014-2015 lunar tetrad fulfill a Biblical prophecy of forthcoming difficult and trying times.

Astronomers do not use Blood Moon as a scientific term. However, it is possible that the term came to describe total lunar eclipses because of the reddish color the eclipsed Moon takes on during totality. This happens because of Rayleigh scattering, the same mechanism that causes colorful sunrises and sunsets, of which we have so many at Reverie.

 

 

Harvest Moon

The Lunar Eclipse also occured during the Northern Hemisphere’s first fall (autumn) full Moon. Called the Harvest Moon in many northern cultures, it is the full Moon closest to the September Equinox, and is astronomically significant.
On average the Moon rises about 50 minutes later every successive day in a lunar month – the time period between two full Moons or two new Moons. Around the Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest Moon, this time difference between two successive moonrises decreases to about 30-40 minutes for a few days. This curious phenomenon, which is also sometimes called the Harvest Moon Effect occurs because of the low angle that the Moon’s path around the Earth makes with the horizon during the northern fall (autumn) months. This effect reverses during the Northern Hemisphere spring. The large angle that the lunar orbit makes with the horizon ensures that the moon rises more than 50 minutes later every day around the northern Spring Equinox. Because seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are opposite to the seasons in the North, the Harvest Moon Effect occurs around the southern Fall (Autumn) Equinox in March.

It’s the Last Eclipse of 2015

2015 has 4 eclipses, the minimum number of eclipses that can happen in a calendar year. The September 28 Total Lunar Eclipse marked the last eclipse of the year. It was preceded by a partial solar eclipse on September 13, 2015.
The first eclipse of the year, a total solar eclipse, took place on March 20. Two weeks later, on April 4, 2015 the first lunar eclipse of 2015 took place.

We were lucky enough to not only hang out at an amazing spot with a glass of wine but we were also able to look at the moon (and other planets and stars) through our telescope.

The photo’s taken are not very good but given I took them with an old iPhone 5 so I can not complain…

 

 

 

 #reverieretreat